14 tracks: Turtles, Dogs & Fine Highland Cheeses * Canadian Barn Dance Set * Out of His Tree * East Winds * Millennium * Strange Strathspeys * Fishing Set * Seafarers Set * Time Enough for a Waltz * Exhausted * Two Fours * Skye Stramash * Aberdour * Lost in Guingamp.
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A well known figure in accordion circles for his work with contemporary bands Seelyhoo and Burach, Sandy Brechin has broadened his horizons even further with The Sandy Brechin Band, which includes Colin MacFarlane (guitars, mandolin, lapsteel, keyboard), Aaron Jones (bass guitar) and Jim Walker of Ceolbeg (drums, percussion), all established artists on a variety of musical scenes.
Be warned, The Sandy Brechin Band is no strict tempo Scottish dance outfit but a group of innovative musicians playing traditional style tunes in an exciting and groovey style, now established as another of Edinburgh’s hot bands.
“The tunes are bouncy and fun, very danceable, and never played too fast. One of those recordings that cause you to crank up the volume on the stereo…”
“From the opening jig Green Mutant Ninja Turtle Blood, it’s clear that this is not mainstream Scottish piano accordion music. Some box-players flirt with the edge: Sandy Brechin takes a running jump at it and lands on the far side. Don’t get me wrong. This is very approachable music, among the most listenable of contemporary Edinburgh off-the-wall traditional albums, and the improbable tune titles belie the musicality and technical excellence which Mr Brechin possesses in abundance. Take track 2, for instance: two great tunes from the traditional piping repertoire and an own composition, shifting easily from Jimmy Shand to Phil Cunningham to Weird Planet, at a lovely relaxed tempo which is actually slightly too slow for a Canadian Barn Dance. This is not modern noise with a nod towards Celtic roots, it’s good traditional music brought up to date…”
(The Living Tradition)
“Brechin’s second recording showcases his preternatural feel for the light, skipping, at times impossibly rapid Celtic ‘lilt’ on accordion. Most of the tracks are two or three song medleys stressing thematic similarity of the tunes, the bulk of which are his own compositions. His backing band of electric guitar, bass, and drums provides a lively foundation for Brechin’s squeezebox, and leaves it the principle melody instrument. High points include The Fishing Set, beginning with The Broken Reel’s stuttery 9/8 beat, giving way to the calmer, happier romp of The Tickled Trout. Exhausted is a tour de force, as well as an endurance contest, The Canny Repair leading off with very quick yet smooth keying, backing instruments pounding the beat, The Dwarf even faster, Brechin seeming to be keying with drumsticks. Brechin’s range also encompasses the slow and pretty, as heard on East Winds, his accordion sounding like a harmonica, melody only, little chording, with moody backing on lap steel guitar…”
“Like the previous album Out Of His Box, Sandy’s latest carries a promise of madness in the title. Greentrax says this one is ‘equally amazing and should perhaps carry a health warning, since wild muscular movement is almost inevitable…’ In fact, what we have here is restrained by modern standards - hugely talented accordionist, adding spice to his own compositions with liberal dollops of driving percussion and electric guitar and keyboard. Some great tunes, some genuinely exciting passages (notably in the title track) and some great playing…”